All students entering the Framingham Public Schools whose home language includes a language other than English are tested for language dominance and/or English language proficiency. (G.L.c. 71A, sec. 4,5 – “The district has procedures that actively seek to identify limited English proficient students.” – Coordinated Program Review Procedures – Massachusetts Department of Education).
Students will be assessed by means of a screening process. The screening process is conducted on an individual basis and concludes when the language assessment specialist has sufficient information to determine dominance and/or English language proficiency. A home language survey is used to collect information from families. The instrument used for assessment is the W-APT.
W-APT stands for the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test. It is an English language proficiency "screener" test given to incoming students who may be designated as English language learners. It assists educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of ELLs. The W-APT is one component of WIDA's comprehensive assessment system.
Each form of the test assesses the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Test items are written from indicators of WIDA's five English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards: Social & Instructional Language, Language of Language Arts, Language of Mathematics, Language of Science and Language of Social Studies.
Additionally, students speaking either Spanish or Portuguese, the two largest speaking populations of the district, are assessed in their native language using the LAS-Language Assessment Scales screening tool in Spanish and a locally-created assessment tool in Portuguese.
Results of these assessments support teachers and coaches to create and implement educational learning plans for each student in the Bilingual Program.
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